8-10 servings


  • 13 large potatoes (floury)
  • 500g minced pork
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tspn marjoram
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 100g smoked bacon or pancetta
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Kartacze is a traditional potato-meat dumpling dish specific for northern-east regions of Poland. Also known as Cepelinai in Lithuanian cuisine however served slightly differently.

Kartacze ( Lithuanian: Cepeliny , English: Zeppelins ) are pretty time consuming dish, no doubt here. However well worth the effort. Although it may be a scary task if you think about spending around 2 hours in the kitchen for preparations and cooking those delicious dumplings, it will cover family dinner and you can store some in the freezer for later as well.

Kartacze - Potato dumplings with meat filling. Serving in Polish style with bacon & onion fried breadcrumbs.

Kartacze – Potato dumplings with meat filling. Serving in Polish style with bacon & onion fried breadcrumbs.

Kartacze Potato Dumplings Preparation & Cooking Recipe

Anyway, the process of preparation of Kartacze is fairly easy, yet time consuming. So let me dish it out for you.

  • Mix minced pork with salt, pepper and marjoram well and put it in the fridge or some cooled place until you are ready with the dough.
  • Cook 3 potatoes in jackets. Peal and mash the potatoes and cool down.
  • Peal the remaining 10 potatoes and grate them using smallest wholes (potato grater). Then squezee out the juice using clean kitchen cloth.
    Tip: Our grandmothers used muslin squares for that and confirm it works great as it allows to speed up the process slightly. Keep the juice as you can use it for cooking.
  • Prepare the dough by mixing mashed potatoes, grated potatoes and flour starch. Don’t be tempted to use egg as it will make the though less tasty after cooking. Knee the dough thoroughly.
  • Form the small 2cm meatballs and put the aside and form zeppelin shaped dumplings around the meatballs (5 – 6 cm long)
  • Cook in slightly salted water. Bigger pot recommended At this stage you can add remaining potatoes juice that contains natural potato starch to the boiling water. The first batch of dumplings may not look so perfect. Boil on medium-low heat until cooked through. Dumpling will start floating and give them 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process of cooking until you cook all of them. Of course the bigger pot, the better :)
Kartacze Polish Potato Meat Dumplings Zeppelins Cepelinai

Kartacze – Potato dumplings with meat filling. Picture shows the idea of serving in Lithuanian style – Cepelinai ( Zeppelins).

Serve hot with diced fried ononies & smoked bacon crumbles (see the photo) – this is the Polish way of doing things. You can serve it also with a dash of cream in Lithuanian style (Cepelinai – Zeppelins)

Cooks Tip: You may use 1/3 of minced beef or minced lamb instead of port for slightly better taste. This is really old recipe and people used to use lamb in the beginning.
Cooks Tip 2: You can freeze Kartacze dumplings and reheat them in boiled watter. Also they are very good cut into 1.5cm slices and pan fried on grapeseed oil or lard.

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Dish Type: Main Course
Course: Mains
Cooking Method: Cooking
Skill Level: Intermediate

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